Wednesday, January 04, 2017
And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’
The joy of oneness
The experience of the Holy Spirit is that of oneness with God. There is an internal sense of unity with the great and overpowering Love God is, evaporating sadness and flooding the soul with peace and joy that may even be accompanied by laughter.
John refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John says Jesus baptizes us, immerses us, with the Holy Spirit.
We are given the same Spirit that fills Jesus, and when we experience the Spirit we are graced to know the unity with the Loving Mystery in which he constantly lived.
Our experience of this exquisite blessing is not constant. It may last moments, minutes, hours or even days for some on rare occasions.
In these moments, we truly know Christ and are empowered to love as he loved, feeling the freedom of being completely one with the Love God is. We need nothing, for in this Love we have all we need, all we have ever wanted.
Sin, guilt, shame, fear are gone, replaced by joy. The Spirit, the Love God is, floods our spirit.
Although we are distinct, there is no distance between God and out soul. In this awareness, guilt or shame over our wrongs and failures, small or great, disappear.
They are gone, and we are free to live, knowing the truth of the Love who is.
Moments of intense oneness fade amid the necessary routines of living. When they fade or distress comes remember the experience of the Spirit. It tells you who God is, who you who truly are and the joy God intends.
Pr. David L. Miller
Monday, January 02, 2017
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Hearing and seeing
It sounds simple. They hear, they see, they ponder and they praise.
The result of their hearing and seeing is joy. So each day, I ... we … should seek to hear and see the Love God is being flesh, incarnate and touchable in our lives and world.
This is the way of joy, the way of knowing, pondering, too, what we hear and see, and sharing it with hearts who can receive it that our joy might be complete. Sharing multiplies our joy.
Separation and isolation are enemies of the joy we would have as God wills it for us. So, too, is a steady diet of the critical commentary, negativity and violence that streams through much of our media.
Turn away from the culture of complaint and the need to criticize or blame others. They carry burdens, too, and are likely doing the best they can.
Slow down. Be. You cannot do everything you think you should, so do what is best and deepest in your heart. This is the gift you are given to share. How ever small it seems, it is more important than you know.
Take time to see and celebrate beauty, to share it and give thanks for the small graces of the day and the moments that speak of the Love who always is.
Listen for the goodness in the words of others. Don't take yourself so seriously, and laugh as much as possible, especially at yourself.
Remember the goodness you have known, the kindness you have received and the love which has touched and filled your heart. And say ‘thank you’ a lot.
It is all a gift of the Love who is and plays and becomes incarnate in every act of goodness, every beauty and the curve of every genuine, loving smile.
Hear and see and the goodness of the Lord.
Pr. David L. Miller